Rudyard Kipling's 'Mandalay'

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

I did say I did requests, and this was one.

My Copy of Kipling’s ‘Complete Verse, Definitive Edition’ ends with this short request:

The Appeal

If I have given you delight
By aught that I have done
Let me lie quiet in that night
Which shall be yours anon

And for the little little span
The dead are borne in mind
Seek not to question other than
The books I leave behind.


So perhaps readers can forget what they think they know about the man’s politics, and take each poem on its own merits.

Percy Bysshe Shelley's 'Ozymandias'

Percy B. Shelley. (1792-1822) A close tie with Wordsworth for my least favorite Romantic Poet. But this is one of the classic poems in English, and since it was requested by a friend, here it is.

A few posts back in the notes to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner I mentioned Richard Holmes’ superb biography of Coleridge. He also wrote a superb biography of Shelley. Didn’t make P.B.S sound like someone I’d like to meet, but it is an excellent biography.

And yes, if you wish to hear a poem read, send suggestions via the website and I’ll see what I can do.

T.S.Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Although this is one of the great poems of the Twentieth century it’s interesting to note how much trouble Eliot had getting it published. Extracts from Pound’s correspondence on his behalf can be read here It seems that Harriet Munroe wanted Eliot to revise the poem and give it a more uplifting ending.

Eliot’s control of his line is enviable and perhaps not noticeable until the poem is read aloud. It swings, ebbs and flows. It’s too easy to chant the whole thing in a sing song, which I’ve tried to avoid. .